Для всех моих друзей в России

OK – I’m showing off again. I bet no one thought I was fluent in Russian – well Google translation is as close as I can get. The title line should translate as “For all my friends in Russia”. I do not know who they are but there are hundreds of them logging on to my blog and I have no idea why Comrades. So dear Russians – I love you all and special love will go to any one adding a comment from Russia. 

Reach for the skies

I am on holiday so I am writing this blog on my terrasse. In fact I find myself sitting idly on my terrasse more and more. As the sun dries my skin I will soon look like a remake of Terrassic Park. And yes- there are real lizards in the dry stone wall. As temperatures zoom towards the melting point of foie gras I’m just gonna post a few photos from around the gorgeous undiscovered town of Saint Savinien Sur Charente. I cannot believe my good fortune at living here. Of course, les tournesols are grown as a commercial crop – it does not seem possible that they turn out millions of Van Gogh masterpieces just so that you can fry a perfect frite to go with your moules. But they do. 

If I had ever doubted that this place is in fact paradise, I must confess to a moment of religious experience a couple of days ago. I had put some left over chocolate sauce in the fridge and someone had seen it and dipped in a finger. The following morning the sauce had set, revealing the true nature of the Universe – Love and Chocolate. Just at that moment the church bells started to ring and a cockerel crowed while a neighbour’s dog howled at the bells. All of Nature gelled as one. Not since I was a teenager and saw the face of Marc Bolan in a cloud had I felt this close to The Infinite.И так до свидания моих русских читателей.




Emma thinx:  Man cultivates. Nature culminates.  













Deep Fat and Sexy

The boy done good! Mark Cavendish won the World road race cycling championship with a fantastic sprint. He is always the first to acknowledge his team who pull him in their collective slipstreams to the finish. I wonder how they feel having exhausted themselves to see one man take the plaudits. Very often I hear of people who have climbed Everest. In the old days you used to get a knighthood or at least some imperial gong. Sadly there are now so many Everestians that you might get a column filler photo slot in your local free newspaper and a free pack of budget sausages from a smiling local shopkeeper. Anyway, my point is that there are hundreds of porters and sherpas who seem to do most of the work. Sherpa Tenzing who climbed with SIR Edmund Hilary was himself named by time Magazine as one of the most influential men of the 20th Century. Since then I’m afraid the poor old guides and labourers have fallen back into the shadows. In the case of the cycling I think all those rouleurs who bash out the miles protecting their sprinters should be known as sherpas. In fact I hereby declare the Emma Calin Sherpa knighthood is awarded to the Sherpas: Wiggins, Froome, Stannard, Thomas, Cummings, Hunt and Millar. They are entitled to a free copy of “Knockout” and of course may use the title for the rest of their lives. Arise Sherpas.


How do you feel about deep fat fryers? Do you think that they are an abomination? Do you have one in your kitchen? Are they the last true demarcation of social class? I have 2 view points: 1) They produce delicious food. 2) They should not be allowed in the house.
Last night I cooked dinner for friends. We opened with Breton Duck pâté with asparagus and figs. We moved on to Moules et Frites – that classic dish of France. (Well, Northern France and Belgium). Now, Frites require a deep fat fryer and so it was that Gilles returned from ASDA (That’s Walmart for the rest of the world) with a DFF. (I told him not to say the word in case the neighbourhood watch committee found out what we had. Arriving in the lorry was bad enough). He also got some Maris Piper potatoes which we finely sliced. The whole evening got a bit Gallic with aperos going on far too late. Then under cover of darkness Gilles went to the garage and operated the shameful machine. Les frites were delicieuses. The mussels were huge – about twice the flesh of the French ones although the shells were the same size. Oh by the way we decided to try a local British wine. Now, our French wine in Saintonge is reckoned to be a bit plain. The British stuff was plain awful. It was expensive, snobby and sour. Never again.

Emma thinx: You are what you tweet.